RECOLOGY ASHLAND IS HERE FOR YOU
Recology Ashland is a 100% employee-owned business that collects waste, recycling materials, and green debris in Ashland, Talent, and their respective unincorporated areas of Jackson County. Technically, there are 36 owners, but we were able to track down one of the managers, Jamie Rosenthal, for a little insight.
I’m approaching my eighth year with Recology, and although I wear many hats, most of my energy is spent doing what I can to ensure that the residents of Ashland and Talent understand how to prevent waste and recycle properly,” said Jamie, who also sits on Ashland’s Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission. “Nobody has ever spotted me in the same place, at the same time. I can be seen at the 4th of July parade with Buddy Blue, our adorable recycling cart mascot who’s dancing like he’s living his best life.”
The mission at Recology is simple: to provide collection services that put the planet and the people of our community first. “Our customers can also expect our employee owners to welcome their insights and feedback graciously as we continually seek ways to enhance our valued partnership with the city and its residents,” Jamie said. “We attempt to find the highest and best use for all materials collected, and we operate the Ashland Recycling Center, Valley View Transfer Station, and business office on Oak Street.”
Jamie has lived in Ashland for 26 years. “I’m a lifelong Oregonian who grew up on the coast,” she said. “In high school, I received a scholarship to play collegiate volleyball for Southern Oregon University, and I’ve lived here in Ashland ever since. I grew up in a household that valued conservation, and so very early on in my adulthood, I found myself naturally drawn to the ‘preservation of the earth’ that recycling seemed to stand for. My initial passion for recycling, however, was riddled with more than a few egregious assumptions. So I basically started out recycling in Ashland more than a couple decades ago, much like the well-meaning people I now attempt to enlighten.”
Over the years, Jamie went from being a classically “wishful” recycler (one who recycles—often enthusiastically—without finding out what’s actually on the list of what’s accepted in their local area) to becoming the single point of contact for “all things recycling” to 27,000 residents in Ashland and Talent.
“I believe my humble recycling ‘beginnings’ help me educate from a place of kindness and understanding over judgment today,” she said. “At the very least, I’m able relate to the enthusiastic and wishful recyclers I meet who mean well, but just don’t know what they haven’t learned yet. I suppose some may find this useful: one’s ‘personal items’ are generally not recyclable, though people do attempt to recycle some pretty wildly personal things on occasion.”
Recycling and trash collection are not the only missions at Recology Ashland. “Historically, we host two free annual residential leaf drop-off events in Ashland, and one in Talent,” Jamie said. “We also work with Ashland Fire & Rescue to host two free annual green debris collection events. We sponsor one free annual household hazardous waste collection event, and even volunteer our time maintaining one of Ashland’s city parks. Here are some lesser-known services that residents can pay for: medical waste (sharps) disposal, debris box rental for new construction, demolition, or biomass removal projects, Wednesday bulky item pickups, and compostable bags (for leaves only) which includes curbside pickup.”
Jamie’s final thought: “Don’t be afraid to wave at our drivers when you see us collecting the carts on your street; that always makes us smile.”
The office is located at 170 Oak Street; the Ashland Recycling Center at 220 Water Street; and the Valley View Transfer Station at 3000 N. Valley View Road. For more information: 541-482-1471. You can also see them at Recology.com/Recology-Ashland, and on Facebook.